Nevada native Dula-Mite was raised on the Eastside of Las Vegas on the infamous 28th Street aka Da 8-Side. Growing up in a city known for their casinos and parties, until recently the world was blind to the real realities of growing up in Sin City.
Dula-Mite began releasing music independently in 2006 with his debut single “Booty-Doo” in which he sold over 7,000 hard copies in the streets. By 2007, he dropped his debut mixtape “The Certified King of Las Vegas”. The highly acclaimed mixtape garnered many award nominations including 3 nominations at the 2008 Justo Mixtape Awards. He has been an opening act for the likes of Gucci Mane, Tech N9ne, E-40, Baby Bash, Joe Budden, Murs, Spice 1, Bone Thugs N’ Harmony, Bobby Valentino, Camp Lo, One Be Lo, Red Cafe, Omarion, Bow Wow, Paul Wall and Slim Thug.
Fast forward, the rising Las Vegas emcee is working on a couple of new projects, which he talks about in our exclusive interview. Displaying a unique style and one of a kind flow, the future looks bright for this Westcoast lyricist.
For the starters, let the people know where Dula-Mite is from and what you are about.
My name is Dula-Mite. I represent East Las Vegas, NV. What do I stand for? If it pertains to music I believe in the original elements of Hip-Hop. I believe in respecting the legends and the culture of Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop is one of the reasons I’m alive, the culture influences the world and I’m so indebted to Hip-Hop music. I thank God for music on a daily basis. I plan on showing the world that you can still spit dope lyrics over a tight beat and still provide a catchy hook. I wanna bring substance back to rap no matter the song topic. Words are so powerful and I understand the difference from being a flash in the pan and having a long and productive career.
How did you get your rap name and what does it stand for?
My government name is Abdullah and I’m a huge 1970’s Blaxploitation movie fan and one of my favorite characters was Rudy Ray Moore’s Dolemite. He is considered as a precursor to Hip-Hop music, he always used rhyme schemes in his comedy and movies that motivated some of the legends in the game today to wanna write poetry or even rap during that time period. I also had the privilege of meeting him and he granted me permission to use the name before he passed away. It was an absolute honor to meet him.
What was the first Hip-Hop song you ever heard and what did you love about it?
One of the first songs I ever heard was Heavy D’s “We Got Our Own Thang”, old school I know [laughs]. But his style and flow in that song was so original and it grabbed me. Compared to other emcees in his era Heavy D stayed true to himself, a big fly dude that could dress, dance, flow and even had sex appeal for the ladies. It was truly a sad day in Hip-Hop when he passed away. If it wasn’t for Heavy D, there would be no Dula-Mite.
Who are some of your musical icons or inspirations and why?
Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., 2 Pac, Ice Cube, Mos Def, Busta Rhymes and Stevie Wonder are my biggest musical influences. Jay-Z is one of the illest writers and lyricist of all time. I’ve always appreciated how versatile he was, he is the artist that showed me you can have dope lyrics over a hot beat and not dumb it down. I admire the business man he has become and how his style has grown with the time, he makes you forget about age, incredibly talented. Biggie and 2 Pac taught me the art of making timeless music, they’ve been gone for over 20 years and to this day they are huge influences in the culture. Ice Cube, hands down, is the King of the Westcoast. His transition from music to his other ventures are legendary and admirable. Mos Def is one of the illest lyricist and actors of our time, his voice is so unique and I can listen to him all day. Busta Rhymes showed me originality with his fashion and rhyme schemes. He revolutionalized music videos and showed me that you can truly be yourself and not be what others want you to be. Stevie Wonder made understand music was a feeling, his music and message was the soundtrack to my life. The biggest thing that influences me the most is there longevity and timeless music and albums.
How did you get started in this music business and what is your goal?
I started in local talent shows. I used that as a tool to gain confidence with music. Then over years, I just took the steps to try to get in the music business. From the selling your music out of the trunk days to now adjusting to the streaming and social media era. The toughest part about trying to get in the music business is how it changes every two years. So my goals have changed over the past few years. The way the industry is set up now, it forced me to adjust and strive to become a mogul independently. I’ve learned to stop trying to gain the attention of the machine and realized that I can invest in myself and build my own machine. I wanna be one of the hugest independent Hip-Hop artist in the game and have the machine chasing me for once.
Do you have a concept for your career, something like a master plan?
Simple concept, I’ve invested all of my own money towards my ventures. So I’m in control of how my career goes. I had to learn to stop chasing a record deal. Being independent allows you to be your own boss and not have to conform to the politics. My concept is to create my own wave and contribute to the culture through music and business ventures, my way.
What are you currently working on? Is there an album in the works we can look forward to?
I am currently working on 3 projects; two albums and a mixtape. I’ve already completed my album entitled “underrated”, which is slated to drop this summer. It has features from Jake&Papa, Londonland, Tre Carter, Elyjuh Rene and more. I recently dropped my new single “Lapdance” featuring WesttseW (West West), produced by Dirty Urbin, which is slated to hit the air waves on the internet, college, satellite and FM in specific markets so I’m super excited about this song. Along with that we also dropped the visual, which came out dope and tasteful for it to be a strip club song [laughs]. The other two projects is the album “Mid-Life Crisis” and “The Blaxploitation Mixtape”, which I plan on dropping Fall/Winter of 2018. Mark my words, they are all gonna be certified classics!
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your career?
Living in Las Vegas can make you feel like you are stuck in a fish bowl sometimes so my biggest accomplishment is being able to travel to different states and countries and perform. Being able to touch fans outside of my city has been amazing. It allows me the opportunity to learn and enjoy different cultures and traditions in other markets.
Are you actively shopping for a major record deal or do you prefer staying independent?
Actually, I’m for both. If it’s a major, it has to be the right fit. The money has to be good, but creatively I like my freedom so if a major comes along they to allow me to be me. Independently, as I stated you create your own lane, but at the same time can be frustrating because you are limited on how many people you can reach budget wise. So it’s hard to pick one over the other.
What’s it like being an indie artists in today’s oversaturated urban music industry?
It’s very hard! Seems like it’s not about the music anymore, it’s about the characters people are creating on social media. Dignity no longer exist, people will do anything for a comment or like. It sucks because there are a lot of people signed to recording contracts simply off of social media followers and creating a buzz off of a dumb act or song. So all of this creates a tidal wave of people trying to do the same thing, so people are standing out for ridiculous things. Makes you think originality is no longer respected. One hit wonders are more of a common thing now-a-days, so the master plan becomes: How can my music stand out?
Who are some of the artists you’re listening to right now?
Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, J. Cole, Jay-Z, Joyner Lucas, Camp Lo, Chris Brown, Richie Evans, AD, Dreezy, Drake, Crooked I, Fred The Godson, Fabolous, Meek Mill, PRhyme, Wale, Dave East, Casanova 2x, Montana of 300 and Rapsody… too many to name.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2017 and in the coming years?
You can expect originality and hard work. You can expect great music that will allow you to enjoy all three elements of the song. Classic albums and mixtapes. Next level music videos, etc. Just know I’m coming for the throne and if I don’t get there, just know I worked hard trying. Don’t follow your dreams, chase them. Being on “Next 2 Blow” is a dream come true. I’ve watched Machine Gun Kelly, Snow The Product, Rockie Fresh, etc. be featured and it is a huge honor to be a part of this club.connect
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